Coming off a lopsided road loss against the powerhouse Greenport Porters on February 2, the Shelter Island School boys varsity basketball team hosted the Southold Settlers three days later and played a high-scoring thriller, only to go down in defeat, 73-63.
Starting for the Indians were sophomores Daniel Martin, Walter Richards, Lucas Quigley-Dunning, and juniors Erik Thilberg and Nick Young. Monday’s game marked Quigley-Dunning’s much anticipated return to the court in the wake of a foot injury.
The game began with the teams trading leads. Gilpin was Shelter Island’s top scorer with 14 points coming off the bench in the second quarter and scored primarily with drives to the hoop. Richards played a crucial role for his team, playing especially well in the second quarter. His on-court energy invigorated the hometown fans, chanting his name at various points. He sank a 3-point basket as the buzzer for halftime sounded, breaking a tie and putting the Island in the lead, 28 to 25.
But Southold came back aggressively after the break
Shelter Island’s defense played tough, but it was hard to stop Steven Russell and Nick Grathwol of Southold who scored 25 and 26 points respectively. As Coach Jay Card Jr. said, “Southold shot well when it mattered,” and that in tandem with some defensive breakdowns, were ultimately the “difference between winning and losing.”
His players put in “great effort,” the coach added, noting it was a great game all the way.
While this season has not seen many of wins for Shelter Island, the players have seen tremendous improvement since their start.
“We’re in it for the long run,” said Coach Card, who looks forward to watching his young team continue to work hard and improve this year and seasons to come.
The Indians will host Smithtown Christian on Friday, February 9 at 5:45 p.m.